KABIR Ali has been one of English cricket’s great mysteries over the past few years.

Arguably the most consistent bowler on the county circuit, yet he continually gets over looked when it comes to England selection.

For the selectors, the 28-year-old must be like marmite — you either love him or you don’t. Sadly for the New Road star it has been the latter.

Overlooked for the two tours this winter, the spearhead of the Worcestershire attack has kept his head down and worked hard.

In previous years Kabir has made no attempt to hide his displeasure when he was left out, but when the Lions and senior squads announcement were made before Christmas he kept himself to himself.

Having seen his friend and County team-mate Gareth Batty brought in from the cold, the seamer who took 59 championship wickets at 18.74 is hoping to follow in the off-spinner’s footsteps.

“Obviously it is great to see ‘Bats’ back in the England set-up — he has always been a brilliant bowler,” said Kabir, who has one Test and 14 one-day internationals to his name.

“It would be great if the same could happen to me.

“We were both out of the England team at the same time and now Bats has got his chance again.

“He has did a pretty decent job in New Zealand taking wickets and scoring runs and now he is off to the West Indies for the one-day series and I’m really happy for him.”

But for now Kabir is focused on helping Worcestershire become a force in Division One of the County Championship.

When the New Road side were last in the top flight of the four-day format two years ago, Kabir shouldered the majority of the work load.

Now with an attack to back him up, he believes that the County are in a good position to do something this year.

“The aim is to stay injury-free, take wickets and keep us up,” he said. “But with the attack that we have here, and the batting is pretty strong too, there is no reason why we can’t be up there at the end of the year.

“Then you never know what could happen — all I can do is put pressure on the selectors by the way I bowl.”